Isn’t it funny how the mind works? You walk into a room only to have forgotten why you went in there in the first place. Especially if it’s the kitchen because, at least for me anyway, I go right for the fridge because, that’s gotta be it right? There was something in there I wanted. Hmm, was it cake? Sure, why not, I bet that was it. I wanted cake. I go sit down with my piece of cake and that’s when my wife looks at me and says, “Where’s my drink I asked you for?”
Okay, so that didn’t happen (rarely) and I’m not talking cake today either. What’s been on my mind lately, and was really messing with me for a while, is how you can be convinced of having done something that you really didn’t do. Some of you who’ve been following me a while know I’ve been working on my debut novel for quite some time. After fiddling with it for years, I finally forced myself to sit and push it out for NaNoWriMo 2015. That’s when the Jedi mind tricks started coming. In an effort to keep going, and without an outline, I just pushed past any scenes, or chapters, I wasn’t sure about at the time. I got it done and have been editing, revising, and re-writing my first several chapters ever since. It’s been just in the past few months that I started making real progress. The kind where I believed I would be ready to publish by the April-May time frame.
My first hiccup was finding three chapters in a row, just past the halfway point that were only a paragraph or two summary of what should happen here. Ouch. Not to be beaten down by it I pressed onward and wrote like the wind, my fingers typing furiously at the keys breathing life into my baby. I was ecstatic with myself and convinced once more I was on track. High five!
Then came a double hiccup. First I found another incomplete chapter. More than a single paragraph summary but not more than a page, or two. I looked further ahead and realized there were a few more to come in the last third that were also incomplete. Seriously, one key chapter I wrote something akin to; “Guy runs into cave. Scares kids. Kids run other way. Someone lit some dynamite causing a cave-in. Other bad guy caught under, splat.” It goes on, but you get the idea. Now this isn’t the soul-crushing end of the world realization because I already knew I hadn’t written my final chapter yet. But I had convinced myself I’d previously written full chapters and that the ones in the half-way point I did were leading to these other ‘complete’ ones. It was a day later that my basement flooded again, this time from the foundation.
If you’ve ever gone through that hardship my heart goes out to you as I know your pain. For those who haven’t dealt with it, I can explain it simply like this. If you don’t have a sump pump buried under your house, there’s not much you can do until the rain stops. The clean up is still ongoing and has consolidated most of my time at home. This was sorta soul-crushing and made my previous writing realization a bit more surreal for me. It was to the point where I struggled hard for a couple of weeks with motivation to even try writing.
Needless to say, my inner writer finally came out again last week and it feels good. A writer friend is visiting next week and I’d hoped to have sent him a full draft before hand for us to go over in person during his visit, but it’ll still be good. Plus I finally made it back to my writing club for a meeting which helps immensely with regaining momentum, and motivation. Through all of this I’m realizing that I’ve got to buckle down and get this one done THEN seriously look into my methods of writing. I listen/read a lot to the 20 Books To 50K group and I need to discover my speedier voice. This is not so I can put out a book every few weeks like they can, but I feel if I plan accordingly, one or two books a year is completely doable for me. Plus the organization will help me maintain the tone, voice, and continuity throughout my books, and I shouldn’t be left with any more surprises of things I thought I did, but didn’t. Point is, don’t give up!
Perhaps this is some symptom of not fishing enough? I bet it is! I mean I am the Writing Fisherman after all.
As always, thank you for listening and following me. Let me hear your struggles in the comments below. If you’re not familiar with 20BooksTo50K, or its founder, Michael Anderle, I suggest reading his indie author story. It’s inspirational to say the least! Meanwhile I’m craving cake for some reason so I’m off to find some. Talk to you again soon!